Ducks notebook: Anderson to sit vs. Devils, Bryzgalov to start in goal
Goaltender Frederik Andersen will sit out Friday night, leaving Ilya Bryzgalov to tend the net when the Ducks face the New Jersey Devils.
With such a heavy workload placed on Andersen in recent months and Bryzgalov back to playing shape, the Ducks are now actively trying to work Andersen’s backup into a solid rotation.
"We need him to play well," said coach Bruce Boudreau. "It’s not a question of the All-Star break being around the corner, because come February and March, we’re playing every second day for two straight months."
Although he’s coming off of a shutout of Toronto, which Boudreau acknowledged, Bryzgalov hasn’t really been worked into the mix yet. He’s played in only three games — started two — and the results were about what you would expect for someone who didn’t sign with a team out of training camp. Bryzgalov needs more in-game experience and Andersen needs a few days off sometimes.
"Usually, you come back with the goaltender that just had the shutout," Boudreau said. "But this was something that we had planned that we wanted him to play in this game and we want him to play."
Andersen started 28 of the Ducks’ last 30 games. Compare that to last season when he only played in 28 NHL games. He’s logged 2,115 minutes, good enough for fourth in the league, and his numbers continue to show that he was clearly ready for the increased workload this season: His 24 wins in second in the NHL.
"We’ve been winning a lot and that’s the most important thing," Andersen said. "That’s what I look at the most. And personally, it’s really nice to be playing a lot, which I have this year."
Andersen’s other numbers all consistently rank among the best in the NHL, yet he was still snubbed for the All-Star game after they called in reserves to fill the spot of injured players. Many think his omission was a little unjust, and although he said he’s not upset, he did admit that an All-Star nod would be a "dream".
"I didn’t really want to be thinking about it too much, I’d rather focus on stuff here," he said. "It’s a positive now, I can use the extra days to rest up and refocus."
As for Bryzgalov against the Devils, the Ducks are looking for nothing more than improvement on his last start.
The Mid-Atlantic Assassin
Winger Kyle Palmieri has typically fared well against teams along the eastern seaboard and after spending a few seasons in Jersey City, N.J., playing at St. Peter’s Prep, the Devils are a team he’s always enjoyed facing.
Defenseman Ben Lovejoy really enjoys watching Palmieri against those teams.
"I call him the Mid-Atlantic Assassin," Lovejoy said. "The nickname has not stuck but I really continue to try to push it."
Lovejoy intends to keep calling his teammate by the nickname even if Palmieri doesn’t score a goal against New Jersey.